I wanted to a cute accent piece near my front door where everyone could drop their purses and belongings when they came inside and natural wood is such a great accent. I had a small foot stool there for a while but I wanted something a little bit thinner and longer and I love the look of live edge furniture. I looked at both Etsy and Wayfair and everywhere I looked ,wood slab benches were really pricey online, almost $200, but I love the touch of nature that the bark adds. Peeking around Home Depot, I found a 3 foot live edge slab of wood for $18 and I found legs for under $50. At that price, I knew a DIY wood slab slice would make an easy and inexpensive live edge wood slab decorative bench with boho style and look great in my entry way (especially compared to some of them I came across!). This slab was a good size, it could almost be large enough for a smaller live edge coffee table. You can also see the video of the bench in the video player after a brief ad. This would probably also be great shelf material too!
The wood slab I found for my live edge bench was fairly smooth. I was lucky because it had one knot that added some interest on the piece of wood but didn’t effect the integrity at all and was much smaller on the top of the wood slab. I did a light sanding with a high 220-grit sandpaper and a tack cloth on the top to create a smooth surface. When sanding use caution around the live edge so you don’t knock any of the bark off. I thing this wood was a pine, but using a different wood to fit the decor would be beautiful! Black walnut, oak, ash and cherry wood are other great wood options.
Live edge wood adds a beautiful and natural feel that fits in a range of styles. When working with live edge slabs, look closely for things to avoid such as splits or cracks, fresh wormholes, large knots that compromise the integrity of the board, and adequate width and thickness for use.
While I loved the natural beauty of the wood grain, I did want the wood color a little bit darker in tone. I stained and sealed the wood with a water-based walnut stain for a more traditional look.
I love how staining brings out even more texture in the wood. Once the stain was cured, I used a coat of polyurethane to seal the top. You can also use a matte minwax polyacrylic as well. To help preserve the raw wood edge with the bark on it, I used a brush to dab the poly sealer on for several coats. I didn’t want it flaking off with use. I wanted to preserve the natural edge.
For the wood bench legs I ordered some really cute pre-made metal legs on amazon. I loved their more modern feel contrasted with the rustic look of the live edge top. They were $35 for the pair. I also liked that they had a wider base on the bottom which meant less tipping over hopefully. I’ve used hairpin legs for a DIY table before and while I love them, I find they generally can’t take a lot of weight.
Once the top was sealed I flipped it over and screwed the legs in. One thing I did with the placement of the legs was place them closer to the inside of the decorative bench and put a drop of wood glue in the hole before adding the screw. This bench is not meant to take a lot of weight.
This is really to drop things on and not for sitting. I don’t know if the wood slab would hold the weight of a full adult with out other reinforcing wood framed under it. To make a sturdier bench add additional wood slabs or a frame for support underneath.
If you love easy DIY’s try this side table with storage made from wood crates.
To style it, I added a cute plant and I love how it looks against the dark wall under the arched mirror.
The wood slab with live edge is the perfect natural feel to the front entry. A slab like this could be used to make smaller live edge tables or even end tables. I loved making this easy and inexpensive live edge wood slab decorative bench. It is crazy how much this entry has changed over time!